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Martial arts instructor charged with sexually assaulting student

Prosecutors say the 30-year-old Eden Prairie Tae Kwon Do teacher began having sex with the student when she was just 15.
Credit: Hennepin County

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — An Eden Prairie martial arts instructor is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct after investigators say he repeatedly had sex with a juvenile student. 

Prosecutors say the contact between 30-year-old Hyobin Lee and his young victim began when she was just 15 years old. 

A criminal complaint lays out the case against Lee, who arrived in the U.S. from South Korea in 2015 and began teaching the juvenile in October of 2015. Police say they were notified by a mandatory reporter from the Scott County School District of the allegations against Lee on September 21 of this year. The victim allegedly told that reporter that Lee had sex with her multiple times, and had "taken her virginity."

In a videotaped interview at CornerHouse the victim, now 17, said she would refer to the defendant as "Master Lee" and as part of Tae Kwon Do it is embedded in a student's mind that you do not say no to someone of Lee's rank, you must comply.

The teen said beginning in 2018 Lee would offer her rides to places, including picking her up from school and bringing her to Tae Kwon Do class. She told authorities he eventually began taking her back to his residence, where Lee would have sex with her. In one instance, she describes sexual contact in a bathroom of the Tae Kwon Do studio. 

In November of 2018 a studio opened closer to the victim's home, ending any interaction with Lee. 

A witness, who was an instructor at the same studio where Lee worked, told investigators that the victim shared in September what had happened. 

Hyobin Lee is currently in custody. 

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